TRADITIONAL LOG CABIN QUILT LAYOUTS
There are endless options for how to layout blocks in a log cabin quilt. A traditional log cabin block, with diagonal half in one color group, and the other diagonal half in another color group, can in essence be treated like a half-square triangle in a quilt. Over the last 150+ years, since log cabin blocks first became popular, several block layouts have become classics and even gotten their names.
Each of these classic log cabin layouts often has variations, like a barn-raising layout made off-center or sunshine and shadow where the colors reverse in some of the units.
Below is a list of some of the most common traditional layouts for log cabin quilts. However, these are just some of the most common options. We highly recommend that you experiment with your quilt to find just the perfect layout for you.
Barn Raising Log Cabin Layout
This is maybe the most common log cabin block layout, and with good reason. The design looks amazing with a wide variety of fabric styles.
Fields and Furrows
This classic is soothing on the eye with its long diagonal lines. Try it in a scrappy fabric or with low contrast between the light and dark sides of the blocks.
Straight Setting log cabin layout is another favorite. Though it is an old design, it can often look strikingly modern. It looks great with solids, but it is also a lovely way to lay out almost any other fabric style block. We prefer to use blocks with high contrast between the dark and the light side for this layout option.
The flying geese layout potentially creates a lot of dynamic movement. There are fun variations of this log cabin layout by making one or a few of the “ducks” in a different color than the majority. Also, try reversing the flying direction of one or more of your ducks for added interest.
Try the zigzag lines of the traditional log cabin chevron quilts in solids for an amazing Amish-inspired quilt, or try it with high contrast blocks. This classic log cabin layout is probably the one that tends to look the busiest.
Sunshine and Shadow
Group your blocks into units of 4 in this classic log cabin layout. The suns can all be the same color scheme, or you can make the units in different colors for a busier look.
MODERN LOG CABIN QUILT DESIGNS
While traditional log cabin quilts work with alternating dark and light halves in each block, there are many other options for working with the log cabin block. One option is to make alternating rounds of light and dark logs in each block. This is called the modern log cabin quilt pattern.
Once you deviate from the traditional light-dark diagonal contrast in each block, the options for designing your quilt top become even wider. We are just showing you a very few of all the variations that are open to you.
Dark Block 1
Dark Block 2
Log Cabin Traditional Block